Disabling Windows Start Web Search

Posted on: 2023-07-16


The faster I can get off windows the better. Talk about a toxic, manipulative and abusive operating system.

Today Windows 11 updated. Now when I click start and type something is does a web search. I don't want Start menu to do a web search. Ever.


It's of course in Microsofts interest that I use Bing and Edge.

Previously I was able to disable this via a setting.

Perhaps I need to just turn it off again? No, Search Permissions remained disabled.

Apparently on windows home you can't just turn it off anymore.

Following the guide, it seems I need make a change via the Group Policy Editor gpedit.msc. Guess what? That's not available on Windows 11 Home. Another search finds you can install it, but it's far from what you'd call simple.

From the administrator command prompt...

FOR %F IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientTools-Package~*.mum") DO (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%F")

FOR %F IN ("%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-GroupPolicy-ClientExtensions-Package~*.mum") DO (DISM /Online /NoRestart /Add-Package:"%F")

Now I can open up gpedit.msc and turn off the appropriate group settings.

Note that it is possible that you may still web-based results after making the change. If that is the case, you will need to make the edits in the Registry to stop web search results in Windows 11's Start Menu.

Which is what happened for me. In regedit go to...

  1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search
  2. Add BingSearchEnabled as a DWORD (32-bit) and set as 0

As the previous article says you should immediately be able to see the result in the start menu.

On a Windows 10 system, it had a similar problem. I was able to fix it via regedit change

  1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  2. Add key (aka folder) called Explorer
  3. Add DWORD 32 DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and set it's value to 1
  4. Reboot

If this seems super complicated, and not something a regular user is ever going to do, then that seems to be the point.

Part of what is so toxic about modern Windows, is that next time I get an update, who knows what settings it will re-enable? Who knows if the previous mechanism will even work?